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NEWS
November 16, 2010 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
The Los Angeles Times Funland blog covers news, trends, issues and changes at major amusement and theme parks as well as the latest information on new rides, attractions, shows, parades and Halloween events. Funland categories: Theme Parks | Disneyland | Disney California Adventure | Disney World | Universal Studios | Six Flags | Knott's Berry Farm | New Rides & Attractions | Roller Coasters | Photo Galleries | Top 10s | Most Popular Stories | Celebrities | Halloween | Wizarding World of Harry Potter Contact Los Angeles Times theme park blogger Brady MacDonald at brady (dot)
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BUSINESS
April 10, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
Families of children with disabilities have sued Walt Disney Co. theme parks and resorts in Anaheim and Orlando, Fla., over a new policy allowing guests with disabilities quick access to rides and attractions. The suit, filed last week in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleges that the policy put in place in October is intended to discourage guests with disabilities from visiting the parks. Disney dismissed those claims. Before October, visitors with disabilities and their family members were given a card that allowed them to go directly onto rides, skipping long lines.
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NEWS
March 2, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
The brief announcement that Disney plans to add a Marvel-themed land to Hong Kong Disneyland in 2017 raises a host of questions: Will Iron Man, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men be getting their own rides? When will the Marvel characters be coming to Anaheim, Paris, Tokyo or Shanghai? And why, of all places, Hong Kong? Many of the most basic questions remain unanswered, in part because the announcement was made by a Hong Kong government official rather than Disney.
BUSINESS
March 6, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
Construction is set to start this year on a $2-billion Universal Studios theme park in Beijing, according to published reports. A park in Beijing has been under discussion for years, but details have remained murky. A spokesperson for Universal Studios Theme Parks, a division of NBC Universal, declined to comment on the latest report. The park will be the sixth for Universal, including four already in operation and one that is set to open in South Korea in 2016. Construction will begin in Beijing this year, with completion scheduled for 2018, according to the website Aastocks.com.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 15, 2013 | By Richard Verrier
DreamWorks Animation SKG is licensing its movie characters for various theme parks being developed in Russia, an increasingly important market for the Glendale-based studio. The creator of the "Shrek," "Madagascar" and "Kung Fu Panda" franchises said it had signed a licensing agreement with Regions Group of Companies, which is developing what is billed as Europe's largest indoor theme parks. Regions says it's the fourth-largest retail property owner in Russia. The parks, scheduled to open in 2015, would be located in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Yekaterinburg and include various attractions based on DreamWorks characters.
NEWS
December 12, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
A new era of towering thrill rides debuting over the next few years promises to alter the skylines of theme parks around the world. Photos: New towering thrill rides on the horizon Free-fall drop towers and skyrocketing space shots have been part of the theme park landscape for decades, but the next generation of sky-scraping attractions will significantly ramp up pulse rates while reaching once unimagined heights. Not too long ago, 300 feet was considered tall in the theme park universe.
BUSINESS
July 23, 2013 | By Hugo Martín and Adolfo Flores
The death of a roller coaster rider in Texas has focused attention on the vexing problem theme park operators face trying to accommodate passengers of various shapes in one-size-fits-all seats. News reports about a woman who fell to her death from a Texas roller coaster suggest her girth may have played a role. The accident follows one in 2011 in which an Army veteran who had lost both legs fighting in Iraq plummeted to his death from a New York roller coaster. Theme park ride designers and operators say the nation's obesity problem and the improved mobility of people who are missing limbs have forced them to bar more patrons from thrill rides that are designed for passengers of certain proportions.
BUSINESS
May 29, 2012 | By Pat Benson
Get ready to open your wallet wider this year if you're going to some of Southern California's theme parks. Reporter Hugo Martin explains which parks are raising prices and why in this video. Daily passes for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park rose this month from $80 to $87. The biggest increase hit the 300,000 park-goers who buy premium annual passes that include parking. Those went from $499 to $649. At Universal Studios Hollywood, one-day passes increased recently from $77 to $80, and annual passes that include parking jumped from $149 to $169.
BUSINESS
May 11, 1993
Victoria S. Sutton was named president of Paramount Parks, the theme park operation of Paramount Communications. Sutton will be responsible for the marketing, design, entertainment, merchandise, finance and administration divisions of the Charlotte, N.C.-based unit. Paramount Parks operates parks in Charlotte; Santa Clara, Calif.; Cincinnati, and Richmond, Va.
BUSINESS
May 26, 2012 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
Alhambra secretary Laurie Casado struggles each year to buy Disneyland annual passes for herself and her family, so the park's announcement last week that it was jacking up prices by up to 30% wasn't exactly good news. But Casado will buy the passes anyway and cut out something else. "I'll keep going because Disney is a big part of our lives," said Casado, who buys annual passes for her husband, daughter and two grandsons, ages 4 and 5. "But the price increase is so disheartening.
BUSINESS
March 6, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Construction is set to start later this year on a $2-billion Universal Studios theme park in Beijing, according to published reports. A park in Beijing has been under discussion for years, but details have remained murky. A spokesperson for Universal Studios Theme Parks, a division of NBC Universal, could not be reached for comment. The park would be the sixth for Universal, including four already in operation and one that is set to open in South Korea in 2016. Construction will begin in Beijing later this year, with completion scheduled for 2018, according to the website aastocks.com.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Another blockbuster movie, another theme park attraction. Universal Studios Hollywood unveiled new details Tuesday of its next major attraction: a 3-D motion-simulator ride based on Universal Pictures' 2010 movie "Despicable Me. " Dubbed Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, the new ride, along with an interactive playland called Super Silly Fun Land, will open this spring at the site of the defunct attraction Terminator 2: 3D. The new attraction follows...
BUSINESS
December 17, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
Another mega entertainment company jumped into the theme park business Tuesday when Twentieth Century Fox broke ground on a 25-acre theme park in Malaysia. The project, to be called Twentieth Century Fox World, was unveiled in July but new details emerged Tuesday as executives from Twentieth Century Fox and developers of the project began construction in Malaysia. The park is expected to open in 2016. Twentieth Century Fox World will replace a previous theme park that closed in September next to Genting Highlands, otherwise known as Resorts World Genting.
NEWS
December 12, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
A new era of towering thrill rides debuting over the next few years promises to alter the skylines of theme parks around the world. Photos: New towering thrill rides on the horizon Free-fall drop towers and skyrocketing space shots have been part of the theme park landscape for decades, but the next generation of sky-scraping attractions will significantly ramp up pulse rates while reaching once unimagined heights. Not too long ago, 300 feet was considered tall in the theme park universe.
BUSINESS
October 22, 2013 | By Hugo Martín
By day, they apply lipstick, rouge and powder to create that vibrant, flawless look. But by night they use their skills to paint a picture of death, punctuated with scars, bloody gashes and deformities. For makeup artists, Halloween is a super job creator. Theme parks and other haunted attractions employ dozens of artists to turn actors into zombies, demons, crazed mutants and other assorted freaks. But the holiday can mean long hours, with Halloween events stretching from the early-afternoon to the early-morning hours.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 17, 2013 | By Patrick Kevin Day
HBO's "Game of Thrones" has a lot: exotic locations, rich characters, dense political intrigue, ice zombies and dragons! But what if George R.R. Martin had gotten together with series producers Dan Weiss and David Benioff and re-envisioned it as a wacky ensemble comedy set in a medieval theme park. You know, it could be called, "Medieval Land Fun-Time World. " That's the premise behind Bad Lip Reading's latest video, taking three seasons of murder, betrayal, incest, scheming, sex and dragons and turning it into something Judd Apatow could have produced.
WORLD
October 15, 2013 | By Barbara Demick
FUPING, China - A statue of the father of the nation's leader - 60 tons of granite - serves as the centerpiece of a square flanked by cypress trees. People approach along a long walkway and bow in the direction of his seated figure. Many carry oversized sprays of flowers. A museum dedicated to his life is at the other end of the walkway. Older women with straw hats and baskets squat on the grass, picking out weeds by hand to keep the grounds immaculate. The optics look straight out of North Korea, but this is in fact China.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 24, 2013 | By Daniel Miller
Walt Disney Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Iger said he likes what he sees from Netflix, but added that he thinks it will be hard for the streaming video service to "corner the market. "  "No question Netflix has a running start," said Iger, speaking at Goldman Sachs' Communacopia Conference in New York on Tuesday. "I don't think the game is over though. The technology has created the most dynamic media space that we've ever seen. " Burbank-based Disney, the world's largest entertainment company, and Los Gatos, Calif.-based Netflix inked  a licensing deal late last year.
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